Like all kids, my two little rascals love cartoons. What’s not to love!? They feature happy little characters in a story that always works out for the best in just a half hour. If only real life was like that! Okay, I’ll admit it: I, too, enjoy watching cartoons with my two little rascals!
Of course, Cassie and I limit how much they watch - and what they watch, as well! Recently, one of their favorite shows, Bubble Guppies, featured the main characters travelling to see popstar “Stylee” in concert. As I sat down on the couch, bleary-eyed and sipping my morning coffee, I was immediately hooked.
In the episode, this popstar, “Stylee,” is not only known for her vocal talents, but for her fantastic hairstyles, as well! Hence, her name. Though all six Bubble Guppies as well as their chaperone Mr. Grouper go to great lengths to attend the concert, it’s the popstar herself who has the most to learn. It seems “Stylee” feels tremendous pressure to keep up with the latest trends. (By this point, I was wide awake, totally engrossed, and sitting on the edge of the couch)
Sitting backstage, completely at a loss at how to dress, one of the Bubble Guppies convinces “Stylee” that she doesn't need outrageous style for her fans to love her performances. And because cartoons always work out in the end, “Stylee” sheds her ridiculous wig and goes on stage as her truest, most natural self.
Why am I telling you about a silly little Nickelodeon cartoon? Because it so vividly communicates the central tenet of our series Going Viral. That sharing our faith with our friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers must be authentic. We are not called to go out on stage dressed up like something we’re not (remember, that’s image of the Greek word for hypocrite).
For six weeks, we’ve engaged the different styles through which we can embody the good news in natural, authentic ways. What’s your style: Direct? Intellectual? Testimonial? Interpersonal? Invitational? Service? Whatever it is, it is needed in the Kingdom of God!
This series will not wrap up in a neat and tidy half hour… At least that’s certainly not my intention. My hope is that it will give us a new understanding and language through which we can continue to be and become God’s people.
My hope is that it will prompt us to go to great lengths to embody the good news of Jesus. We live in a culture where less and less people are awake and out the door for church on Sunday morning. It’s easier to sleep in - or drink coffee, bleary-eyed, on the couch!
But - and I can’t believe I’m typing this - let’s be like the Bubble Guppies: Let’s go to great lengths to share the good news through whatever style we have, not judging ourselves based on our success, but trusting that as we plant and water, God will bring the growth!